Sat. Aug 24th, 2019

BMR, PNMS offices consult local fishers on FADs program

The stakeholders attending the meeting hosted by Ministry of Natural Resources, Environment, and Tourism, along with the Palau National Marine Sanctuary Office on March 8. (Contributed Photo)

The Bureau of Marine Resources (BMR) and the Palau National Marine Sanctuary (PNMS) Office resumed its consultation with the local fishermen and relevant agencies regarding a nationwide fishing aggregating devices (FADs) network.

The consultation conducted on March 8 was aimed at determining the sites for the deployment of remaining FADs.

Palau is deploying anchored fishing aggregating device (FADs) in Palau waters to support the artisanal fisheries and alleviate pressure on Palau’s reef fish. The program is also reviving efforts to create livelihood opportunities for local fishermen as 20 percent of the exclusive economic zone(EEZ) will be designated as a domestic fishing zone by 2020/

FADs are used to attract pelagic fish, making them easier to catch. The program makes use of anchored FADs, which are located near coastal areas.

During the consultation on March 8, the fishermen were consulted on identifying sites where the remaining FADs are to be deployed.

BMR and PNMS office also discussed with the states and fishermen the plan to draft a FAD strategic plan and raise the possibility of imposing fees for FAD maintenance.

In the meeting, a few fishermen were opposed to the fee but BMR explained that it will be a minimal amount which will go to ensuring the long- term sustainability of the FADs program.

Since 2013, BMR has deployed almost 20 FADs with four more to be deployed this year.

FADs have been deployed in Ngarchelong, Kayangel, and Ngchesar. The fishermen suggested that FADs be deployed in Airai and Melekeok.  (Bernadette H. Carreon)